Parlington Hall
Parlington Hall was the seat of the Gascoigne family, Aberford near Leeds in the county of Yorkshire, in England. It was the birthplace of Isabella and Elizabeth Oliver Gascoigne, who inherited the Gascoigne family fortune in 1843. These 2 deeply creative women immediately commissioned the building of schools, almshouses and churches in the region and made huge improvements to their estates and to the living conditions of their tenantry. The sisters personally fabricated spectacular stained glass windows for their various projects. One of these survives in the park at Parlington. Isabella's particular interest was wood-turning and she installed at least 3 lathes in her own workshop at Parlington, as well as writing an authoritative book on the subject. In 1850, Isabella married Colonel Frederick Charles Trench of Woodlawn, County Galway, Ireland. In 1852, Elizabeth married Frederick's cousin Frederick Mason Trench, 2nd Baron Ashtown, head of the Trench family. Jointly the 2 sisters had already built the magnificent Castle Oliver on their father's estate in Limerick, Ireland. Elizabeth and her husband lived at Castle Oliver while Isabella and her husband continued to reside at Parlington Hall, until her death in 1891. Following the death of Isabella's husband in June 1905, Parlington was abandoned. Their son Col. Frederick Richard Thomas Trench Gascoigne was already established at another nearby family residence, Lotherton Hall to the east of Aberford, which he had inherited on the death of his Aunt Elizabeth. Lotherton Hall survives and is now open to the public. It contains much Gascoigne memorabilia. It lies on the road towards Towton, the location of the bloody battle on Palm Sunday 1461. After 1905, much of the contents and smaller architectural features of Parlington were transferred to Lotherton and Parlington was more or less abandoned. It was largely demolished in the 1950s and 1960s, leaving only the west wing standing. The estate has a number of interesting features: the Triumphal Arch, built around the end of the Eighteenth Century, which is unique in commemorating the victory of the American colonialists over the British in the American War of Independence. An inscription on both faces of the arch reads, "Liberty in N.America Triumphant MDCCLXXXIII"; a tunnel known locally as the "Dark Arch", which was built to shield the inhabitants of the hall from traffic passing along Parlington Lane, still intact almost two hundred years later; an underground icehouse, also intact " a testament to Georgian brick construction.

  • The History of Parlington Hall and its surroundings, including the Triumphal Arch, Dark Arch and Ice House